What to Wear Under Scuba Wetsuit?

What to Wear Under Scuba Wetsuit: A Comprehensive Guide

Scuba diving is an exhilarating and adventurous activity that allows you to explore the mesmerizing underwater world. To ensure maximum comfort and safety during your dive, wearing the right gear is crucial. While a scuba wetsuit is designed to provide insulation and protection against the cold water, what you wear underneath it is equally important. In this article, we will discuss what to wear under a scuba wetsuit and answer some frequently asked questions to help you make the most of your diving experience.

What to Wear Under a Scuba Wetsuit?

1. Swimwear:
Wearing swimwear, such as a swimsuit or swim trunks, is a common choice when it comes to what to wear under a scuba wetsuit. Opt for a snug-fitting swimsuit that provides comfort and allows for freedom of movement. Avoid bikinis or loose-fitting swim trunks as they may cause discomfort and hinder your mobility underwater.

2. Rash Guard:
A rash guard is a lightweight, quick-drying shirt made of stretchy material that provides an extra layer of protection against chafing and UV rays. It also helps to prevent rashes and sunburn. Rash guards are available in both short and long-sleeve options, allowing you to choose according to your preference and the water temperature.

3. Dive Skin:
Similar to a rash guard, a dive skin is a full-body suit that offers additional coverage and protection. It is typically made of a thin, breathable fabric that offers UV protection and reduces friction between your skin and the wetsuit. Dive skins are particularly beneficial for individuals with sensitive skin or those who prefer a tighter fit.

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4. Thin Neoprene Layer:
If you are diving in colder water conditions, you may consider wearing a thin neoprene layer underneath your wetsuit. This can provide extra insulation, keeping you warm during prolonged dives. Thin neoprene tops and bottoms are available in various thicknesses, allowing you to choose according to the water temperature.

5. Socks and Gloves:
To further enhance your comfort and protect your extremities, wearing neoprene socks and gloves is recommended. These accessories prevent blisters, chafing, and provide additional insulation to keep your hands and feet warm. Ensure that the socks and gloves fit snugly to avoid any discomfort or hindrance while diving.

6. Sports Bra or Compression Top:
Female divers may find it beneficial to wear a sports bra or compression top underneath their wetsuit for added support and comfort. These garments reduce movement and provide better stability during the dive, ensuring a more enjoyable experience.

7. Nothing at all:
Some divers prefer not to wear anything underneath their wetsuit, especially if the suit fits snugly. This option is more common for male divers due to the design of wetsuits. However, it is essential to ensure that the wetsuit is clean and properly maintained to avoid any skin irritations.


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Q1. Do I need to wear underwear under my wetsuit?
No, wearing underwear under your wetsuit is not necessary. In fact, it can cause discomfort and chafing. Instead, opt for proper swimwear or the aforementioned options for a comfortable and hassle-free dive.

Q2. Can I wear a normal t-shirt under my wetsuit?
It is not recommended to wear a regular t-shirt under your wetsuit. Regular t-shirts may retain water and make you feel colder during the dive. It is best to choose a rash guard, dive skin, or thin neoprene layer specifically designed for scuba diving.

Q3. Should I wear a wetsuit if the water is warm?
Wetsuits provide protection against more than just cold water. They also protect your skin from cuts, scrapes, and stings. Additionally, wetsuits offer buoyancy and can help regulate your body temperature, even in warm water. It is advisable to wear a wetsuit regardless of the water temperature.

Q4. Can I wear my scuba wetsuit without any additional layers?
Yes, you can wear your scuba wetsuit without any additional layers, especially if the water is not too cold. However, keep in mind that wearing a rash guard or thin neoprene layer underneath the wetsuit can provide added comfort and insulation.

Q5. How do I clean my wetsuit and the layers worn underneath?
After each dive, rinse your wetsuit and the layers worn underneath with freshwater to remove salt, sand, and any other residues. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the neoprene material. Hang your gear to dry in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight.

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Q6. Can I wear a wetsuit that is too tight or loose?
It is crucial to wear a wetsuit that fits snugly but not too tight or loose. A wetsuit that is too tight can restrict movement, cause discomfort, and affect blood circulation. Conversely, a wetsuit that is too loose may allow water to enter, reducing its insulation properties. Always try on the wetsuit and ensure it fits properly before purchasing or renting.

Q7. Can I wear makeup or sunscreen under my scuba wetsuit?
It is advisable to avoid wearing makeup or applying sunscreen underneath your scuba wetsuit. These products can degrade the neoprene material and may cause discoloration. Instead, apply sunscreen to exposed skin areas before putting on your wetsuit, and use waterproof makeup if necessary.

In conclusion, wearing the appropriate gear under your scuba wetsuit is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable diving experience. Choose swimwear, rash guards, dive skins, or thin neoprene layers based on your preference and the water temperature. Don’t forget to maintain and clean your wetsuit and the layers worn underneath to ensure their longevity. Happy diving!

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